Blake won?t forget this trip in a hurry
BLAKE Moore's 16th birthday is going to be one he remembers forever.
Yesterday he joined fellow Coffs Harbour teenager Peter Ball in flying out of Coffs Harbour for a once-in-alifetime trip to Sydney.
Both vision impaired, this is the first trip for the boys without family at their side to guide them along the way.
Accompanied by carer Rowan Kimberg, the trip has been made possible thanks to the Guide Dogs Citywise program, with Blake and Peter also joining up with two vision impaired teenagers from Lismore.
The four day trip will include visits to the Sydney Aquarium, a Jetcat ride to Manly, a tour through the Bo- tanic Gardens and a night pedestrian travel around Sydeny's hotspots including the Rocks, Fox Studios, Darling Harbour and the IMAX Cinema.
Guide Dogs NSW/ACT Coffs Harbour regional manager, Jeremy Hill, said the Citywise Program was specifically designed to help youngsters move around in public more freely and confidently, with training tailored to each child's age, needs and skill level.
"It's so important for children and teenagers with vision impairment living in regional areas to experience the way of life in a big city," Mr Hill said.
"It offers them the chance to familiarise themselves with the challenges of city living in a fun way, with the help of our Orientation and Mobility Instructors."
Mobility training is aimed at familiarising children and teenagers with essential concepts of the world around them, often with the help of a mobility cane.
They are taught to cross a road safely and how to readily identify kerbs, footpaths and zebra crossings.
The training program involves areas such as pre-cane skills, cane training, bus travel and use of residual vision and other senses.
For further information on Guide Dogs NSW/ACT and their services call 6652 7424 or visit www.guide- dogs.com.au